Escaping into Fiction – Sharon Shinn Guest Blog

When I was having an interesting time of it in college, I was seized with the notion that I was reading an incredibly long and detailed story about a woman named Sharon Shinn, and at some point I would reach the end of the book, look up, and find myself to be a wholly different person. (A friend of mine says this is an idea that would only occur to a writer.)

sharon shinn

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How My Load Got Shot – Jedidiah Ayres Guest Blog

I just read a review of the film F*ckload of Scotch Tape that ended with this paragraph:

“In the end, F*ckload of Scotch Tape is the cinematic equivalent of a repeated kick to the nuts with just enough of a break here and there to give you some hope that maybe, just maybe, the next kick won’t come. But that next kick always comes, and it’s not going to stop. This is not an easy flick to experience, and I don’t know if the word ‘enjoy’ is the right one to use, even though I can’t dismiss the merits of the film even if it made me feel like shit. Stinky, watery shit. Fuck, you’re going to kick me in the nuts again, aren’t you?”

jedidah ayers

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Author of Peckerwood, Fierce Bitches and A F*ckload of Shorts. Co-editor of the fiction anthologies Noir at the Bar and D*CKED.

Cock Fisting Commercialism – Ray Banks Guest Blog

Ray Banks

You know, when I think about it, Wolf Tickets is a lot like cock fisting.

Bear with me.

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Ray Banks shares his birthday with Chuck Barris and Curtis Mayfield and screeched into the world on the same day that Roberto Rossellini took his leave. He has worked as a wedding singer, double-glazing salesman, croupier, dole monkey, and various degrees of disgruntled temp. He likes to think of himself as a writer these days, having written a few books and considerably more short stories.

He currently lives in Edinburgh, where he’s been known to falls into fits of curmudgeonly behaviour that normally involve foul language and lewd gestures.

Honky Tonk Heroes – Benjamin Whitmer Guest Blog

There was a time when being an admirer of Cormac McCarthy was more than a little like being a member of a cult.  It was before Oprah, when the only way you’d have heard of him was by word of mouth. There were no movie adaptations, and if you knew anything about his life, it was that he was living in a cheap hotel room in El Paso working on his next novel.  Which, you figured, was just as it should be.

blood meridian

Depending on your particular bent, you could stay up all night discoursing on either Suttree or Blood Meridian — nobody’s ever been known to love both of those books equally — much to the irritation of friends and family alike.

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My first novel, Pike, was published in America in 2010 by PM Press, and in France in 2012 by Éditions Gallmeister. Satan is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers, a memoir co-written with country music legend Charlie Louvin, was released by Igniter Books in 2012. My second novel, Cry Father, was published in 2014 by Gallery Books in the US, and in 2015 by Éditions Gallmeister in France.

Positing a New Author-Reviewer Relationship – Sam Sykes Guest Blog

sam sykes

I’ve occasionally suggested to those who know me best, and subsequently to those who know me to be a terrible human being with few redeeming factors past my ability to imitate Hugo Weaving, that the only part about being an author I truly regret is the fact that I can’t enjoy internet meltdowns like I once could.

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Sam Sykes is the author of the acclaimed Tome of the Undergates, a vast and sprawling story of adventure, demons, madness and carnage. He lives with two hounds in a small, drab apartment and has eaten at least one of every animal on earth.

Notes Towards a Sort of Supreme Fiction – Chris Barzak Guest Blog

chris barzak

I was going to write an essay describing the state of the speculative fiction genre, or describing my uneasiness with certain genre-oriented tenets, but I decided not to. I thought, then, that I might write an essay describing the state of fiction in general, because the idea of speculative fiction, for me, is something much wider than what is published in fantasy and science fiction magazines; these stories can be found in many literary periodicals as well.

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Christopher Barzak is the author of the Crawford Award winning debut novel, One for Sorrow, and the new novel-in-stories, The Love We Share Without Knowing. His short stories have appeared in Interfictions, Trampoline, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Nerve, and other venues. He lives in Youngstown, Ohio, where he teaches fiction writing in the Northeast Ohio MFA program at Youngstown State University. You can visit his journal, Meditations in an Emergency for more information.

You’ve Been Punked – Sam Sykes Guest Blog

sam sykes

If science fiction revolves around the question of “what if,” and fantasy revolves around the question of “what was,” then the question of “what is, but not so recently is, and more like what was, but less boring than that and not quite as nerdy as ‘what was’ like ‘what was middle earth like,’ so basically, what is and isn’t and how can I fit corsets into it” is clearly answered by one word.

Punk.

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Sam Sykes is the author of the acclaimed Tome of the Undergates, a vast and sprawling story of adventure, demons, madness and carnage. He lives with two hounds in a small, drab apartment and has eaten at least one of every animal on earth.

A New Urban Fantasy – Sam Sykes Guest Blog

sam sykes

If you’ve been at all concerned with the state of fantasy in the past few years, you’ve probably noticed a drastic shift in genres.  The market has split wildly into many segments, including that bastion of pseudo-gothica and girls with tight pants, urban fantasy.
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Sam Sykes is the author of the acclaimed Tome of the Undergates, a vast and sprawling story of adventure, demons, madness and carnage. He lives with two hounds in a small, drab apartment and has eaten at least one of every animal on earth.

Coffee and Conversation with Hegel and Manfried Grossbart – Jesse Bullington Guest Blog

Jesse Bullington – Good morning, and thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Hegel: [Mutters something incomprehensible to Manfried]

Manfried: [Mutters back. This goes on for some time, until:] Uh huh. Mornin.

Hegel: Sure. Good mornin. What’s this?

BSC, upon whose behalf I’m conducting this interview, was hoping to gain some insight into the novel I wrote—

Jesse Bullington

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Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Jesse Bullington spent his childhood exploring the surrounding woodlands and reading everything he could lay his grubby mitts across. Before moving with his family and completing his adolescence in North Florida, he spent a formative year living in the Netherlands. His current location is a matter of some conjecture and philosophical speculation.

An Open Letter to Those Terrified of E-Piracy – Gary Gibson Guest Blog

There are many pro writers out there worried by piracy, who see the internet as the greatest illegal intellectual land-grab of all time. Here’s the deal:  if you’re worried enough to want to stop it, you’re not only going to have to stop people’s internet connections, you’re also going to have to ban photocopiers, computer scanners, OCR software, and computers. At the least.

gary gibson

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Scottish author Gary Gibson is the author of several science fiction novels for Tor UK, including the first two books of the Shoal Sequence featuring Dakota Merrick. The majority of his published work most assuredly contains both spaceships and talking squid.

Science Fiction and Why It Needs Secret Decoder Rings – Gary Gibson Guest BLog

It does seem like the eternal war between SF and the mainstream just goes on and on and on, doesn’t it? One minute you think it’s dead and buried, the next it’s climbing back out of its grave, spitting out mouthfuls of dirt and gnashing its teeth.

gary gibson

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Scottish author Gary Gibson is the author of several science fiction novels for Tor UK, including the first two books of the Shoal Sequence featuring Dakota Merrick. The majority of his published work most assuredly contains both spaceships and talking squid.

Fantasy: Violation of the Possible? – Betsy Tobin Guest Blog

Is it possible to break the rules of fantasy writing by adhering to them too strictly?  When Borders UK first shelved my novel Ice Land in the Fantasy/Sci Fi section, I was gobsmacked (to use a quaint English term).  My first two novels had historical settings that placed them firmly on the fiction shelves.  I had approached the writing (and setting) of Ice Land in much the same way, with a few tiny exceptions.  What had happened?  And how would my readers find me?

Betsy Tobin

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Betsy Tobin was born in the U.S. and moved to England in 1989, where she now lives with her husband and children. Her first novel, Bone House, was short-listed for the Commonwealth Prize, and won the Herodotus Prize in the United States. Her other novels include The Bounce, Ice Land, and Crimson China. Crimson China was Radio 4 Book At Bedtime in the UK, and was short-listed for Epic Romantic Novel of the Year.

On Religion and Safehold – David Weber Guest Blog

I’m definitely trying to make a statement about religion in my novels, at least in the case of the Safehold novels, although people who have read my other books will be aware that I’ve used religion in virtually all of them, one way or another. Religion, and the way human beings relate to it, is far too complex for quick and easy generalizations.

david weber

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Why I Write Science Fiction: An Apology – Alan DeNiro Guest Blog

I read a lot of pulp when I was a kid. Most of it was crap. I also wrote a lot of adventure stories and half-baked space operas, most of which were crap too. Around sixteen, I started writing poetry more seriously, and continued honing my poetry through high school, college, and an MFA. Sure, I would still write the occasional piece of fiction, but I thought the seismic shift away from fiction (especially science fiction, the literature of my youth) was permanent. Even with writing mentors that I respected, science fiction was considered the poor cousin on the other side of the valley, next to the river and railroad tracks.

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Alan DeNiro is the author of a story collection, Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead (Small Beer Press) and Total Oblivion, More or Less (Bantam). He is the co-editor of Rabid Transit Press, which released its first volume in the Electrum Novella Series, The Sun Inside by David Schwartz.

Petals of the Rat: loose notes for a new movement – Alan DeNiro Guest Blog

This isn’t a manifesto. This is a series of observations in a particular range of time, made on a mode of writing that I love, what on any given day can be called speculative fiction. Manifestos are the literary equivalent of knivings in a dark alley–sharp, fierce, with no hope of reprisal. The Futurists, after all, declared in their own manifesto that “the painting of nudes must be banned for 10 years.” Picasso, a few years later, said (pretty much ending debate on the subject): “When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her arms and limbs.” So much for the Futurists.

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Alan DeNiro is the author of a story collection, Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead (Small Beer Press) and Total Oblivion, More or Less (Bantam). He is the co-editor of Rabid Transit Press, which released its first volume in the Electrum Novella Series, The Sun Inside by David Schwartz.

The Mosaic Novel – Guest Blog by Richard Bowes

When I decided to call From The Files Of The Time Rangers, a Mosaic Novel, I thought that the term was one that Jeff VanderMeer had invented for his brilliant multi-layered Veniss Underground. But when I ran into Jeff at Worldcon in Boston, he said it had originated with someone else but he didn’t remember who that was.

RichardBowes

My agent prefers the term ‘integrated collection’. But not only do I like the way Mosaic Novel sounds, I like the idea of a book created, as a visual mosaic is, out of bits of glass, of tiles, of colored stones.

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Join me or Die! : A Few Words on the Necessity of Dark Power – Guest Blog by Elizabeth Bear

Darth Vader is your father.

But you knew that already, didn’t you? Despite the power of those words to evoke a reaction of surprise – a shiver of fear, a frisson of titillation – don’t they provoke as well a shock of recognition, a deep sense of rightness and truth? The immediate response – anger, horror, denial – gives way to a realization of absolute veracity.

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Elizabeth Bear is an American science fiction and fantasy author, born September 22, 1971 in Hartford, Connecticut. Her first professionally-published fiction appeared in 2003; since then, she has published eleven solo novels (Hammered, Scardown, Worldwired, Blood and Iron, Whiskey and Water, Ink and Steel, Hell and Earth, Dust, Carnival, New Amsterdam, and Undertow), one novel in collaboration with Sarah Monette (A Companion to Wolves), and a story collection (The Chains that You Refuse). Her twelfth solo novel, All the Windwracked Stars, received a starred review, Publishers Weekly hailed it as “rewarding and compelling.” With Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Sarah Monette, and Amanda Downum, she is one of the creators of Shadow Unit, an ongoing virtual television series instantiated on the web. Her web site is at www.elizabethbear.com, and she maintains a popular LiveJournal at matociquala.livejournal.com.

She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2005 and the 2006 Locus Award for Best First Novel for the Jenny Casey trilogy (Hammered, Scardown, and Worldwired). In 2008, her short story Tideline won the Sturgeon Award and the Hugo Award for best short story of the year.